by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist
The term “self-ownership” implies the idea that each of us owns ourselves, our life, and no one else has a claim over us. Such an assertion and concept is embraced in the American Declaration of Independence, that revolutionary document, which declares people be free for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
No King, no State, no Government no group or Church may have a claim on us without our consent. Our life and what we do with our life is ours to choose. No one else can live our life for us; we are each responsible for our lives, and this implies the product of our lives. What we earn, what we save, what we trade, is ours to keep or to spend as we choose.
The above may sound rather innocuous, but there are deep implications. For example, with self-ownership if what we earn or find or trade or invent is ours and ours only, then no other party has a right to claim it or part of it. This includes a state or king or government. Hence, no tax. If a group or body or government coerces us to pay a levy, a fee, a tax to which we do not voluntarily consent, then it is theft, the same as if a gang of robbers threatened to take our property.
And no one else can force us to do what we choose not to do, or not to do what we choose to do. This would include conscription to go to war. Conscription is slavery. And of course the raising of taxes to prosecute a war is theft.
In a truly free society, self-ownership is unequivocal. Voluntarism is supreme. Force, fraud and coercion cannot be sanitised or justified under any guise such as “national interest” or by an Act of Parliament that decrees that self-ownership be suspended in this Special Situation.
It is rather outrageous, isn’t it, to assert the right of complete self-ownership, of total individual freedom and responsibility? Who ever heard of such a thing? Isn’t this just too extreme? Shouldn’t there be a little window of opportunity to regulate, to coerce, to tax — just a bit? Well, no! Once you start on this slippery slope, where does it lead? If you concede 1% of your personal sovereignty, your self-ownership, from then on it is just a question of degree. And if it is The State to whom you concede your sovereignty, then it is just a matter time before The State becomes part owner of you. The Communist State required 100% concession of self-ownership to itself.
The advocates of self Ownership include John Locke — “every man has a property in his own person” — and Henry David Thoreau who saw in full self-ownership his idea of Utopia.
Murray Rothbard asserted that 100 percent self-ownership is the only moral and natural ethic. Hans-Hermann Hoppe states that self-ownership is axiomatic — that to assert otherwise is itself an expression of self-ownership.
Clearly self-ownership sits in the individualist-anarchist, the libertarian camp, and that we each have a moral and natural Right to be the exclusive controller of our own body and life, and the products thereof.
- Welcome from Neville Kennard
- Think Tanks Don't Work
- "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
- The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
- Corporate Welfare
- Citizenship for Sale?
- I Don't Vote
- Voting: Right or Privilege?
- Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
- Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
- Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
- Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
- Government Likes War
- Collusion is Our Right
- Why Not the Drug Olympics?
- Unconventional Wisdom
- Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
- Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
- Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
- Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
- Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
- Separating Sport and State
- Your Home is Not an Investment
- Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
- A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
- Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
- Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
- What is a good Australian?
- Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
- The Market Failure Industry
- Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
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- The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
- The Tannehills
- Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
- Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
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- The Tyranny of the Majority
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- Business Should Exploit Boat People
- The Immorality of Trade Unions
- "America" vs "The United States"
- Sweet Anarchy
- The Illusion of "Job Creation"
- Gold Is Money
- Guilty Capitalists
- Prosperity vs Growth
- Capitalism vs Democracy
- More people = More fun
- Self-Ownership - the very idea!
- Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
- The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
- Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
- My Journey to Anarchy:
From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
- Government Needs Bad Guys –
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- What Is Obscene?
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- Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
- Neville Kennard Obituary